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8 lucky Alaskan students to join STEM education program

STEM education through the "Alaska to Bermuda" program will be conducted via online video...
STEM education through the "Alaska to Bermuda" program will be conducted via online video courses.(Challenger Learning Center of Alaska)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 4:39 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska is offering their award-winning 2020 “From Alaska to Bermuda” virtual program to Alaska students from sixth through eighth grade again this year. This student exchange-based platform introduces Alaskan students to students in Bermuda to learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM.

Colette Gilmour, the Marketing & Program Director for the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska explained, “The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska serves communities and schools statewide, through supplying educational programs that cover STEM. Our vision is to strengthen our workforce development by developing stimulating real world activities for Alaskans, and to inspire students to pursue higher education.”

The program provides students an opportunity to build on each other’s ideas academically, and share cultural and environmental experiences. Registration is limited to only eight spots for Alaskan students and eight for Bermuda Students. Challenger is requiring registrations to be accompanied by a video submission from the student expressing their interest. Those are due on August 9th.

Gilmour continued, “This year, the Alaska to Bermuda program theme is ‘Return to the moon, mars, and beyond.’ Students from Alaska and Bermuda will meet through Zoom, and with a Challenger flight director. They’ll be exploring the latest NASA drive which is to establish a permanent manned research station on the moon, and how to expand mankind’s presence on Mars and beyond.”

Over the course of the program, students will be building biospheres, rover landers and space habitations. Guest speakers from NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab and HERO - the Human Exploration Research Opportunities program - will also make appearances throughout the week to share and talk with students.

“The hands on projects that students will be doing will reveal challenges they’ll need to solve like the effectiveness of spacesuit materials against radiation, how to sustain life in harsh conditions, and how to grow food. [While] exploring, these students will be studying stability, aerodynamics, engineering, astronomy, and navigation amongst lots of other topics,” Gilmour said.

The program will run the week of August 16 to August 20, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (AST). Registration can be found at www.akchallenger.org/camps.

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